“A Cowboy To Marry” by Cathy Gillen Thacker is a great contemporary read about a woman who’s tired of living in the shadow of her dead husband. Years after his death, Libby has finally decided that it’s time to get on with her life. Her first decision: to sell the dealership and family home. Just as she’s got a businessman coming to evaluate the business of problems occur. First, the town library gets shut down and the two librarians rush to Libby for help. Second, most of the town is against the sale and gives Libby a hard time.
To complicate matters further, Libby’s dead husband’s best friend, Holden, decides he’s still responsible for her well-being. He offers a deal. They can be each other’s rebound dates, just to get them through the holidays. The terms are simple. They will spend time with each other in social settings, hoping to ease the awkwardness of getting back in the saddle. Neither person expects to feel more for each other than gratitude. The attraction begins to flare, and Holden decides to give in to it.
Shortly after they begin to fall for each other, Libby begins to exhibit symptoms of pregnancy, which she decides to ignore because she thinks it’s another trick of her mind. Just like last time. The sale goes off without a hitch, after Libby works hard to get everything she and the town want. Although she agreed to the man changing the name of the company, she decided to donate the proceeds to a charity which will help repair the library and any other small charities within the county.
This allows Libby to stay in the area, and she decided to keep her house. When her health seems to deteriorate, Holden takes her to the Emergency Room, where her best friend does an exam. She confirms that Libby is pregnant. Holden is thrilled and says they are to get married at once. Libby refuses to have a wedding based on a pregnancy. Furious, Holden calls off their relationship. Before Christmas, Holden discusses his problem with his father, who tells him that maybe he’d went about his proposal in the wrong way.
Holden goes to Libby on Christmas day and spills his guts. They work things out and have a perfect baby boy.
This was a really good, emotional read. I sympathized with the couple as they try to move on with their lives while still battling guilt over the past. Each of them has been scarred by a first marraige and it makes it difficult for them to move on. It’s even harder when there’s the memory of the dead husband/best friend. I enjoyed watching them get over the hurtles. It was nice to see Libby come out of her shell and get on with her life. And to know that they were given a happy ending was great since they worked really hard for it. To me, Holden did the best thing possible. He kept his promise to his best friend by really making sure she was taken care of by a great man. And he gave her a large family too, something she needed in her life.
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